I'm so grateful for technology. Even on Sundays when its super yucky outside and I'm a scaredy cat, I can still worship and hear a powerful message from the Lord. And, with all the yucky weekends we've had this winter, I've be blessed to still experience the grace and gift of God's Word and fresh reminders of the everyday gifts He has given.
This morning, Cross Church tied up a men's retreat weekend by letting the rest of us peek into the messages and words that were shared. The challenge was to men, but the challenge was more to families (those who have them and those who will).
So much of the challenge was to men - to lead their families, to pray with their families, to tell their families they love them and to show their families that they love them.
My sister and I joke sometimes about how we had the dollar store version of many toys. But, we didn't want for much in life. Maybe to be super popular, which at the time seemed really important, or to be invited to all the parties or to have a long line of dudes chasing us (all things I'm grateful now didn't happen). But, the off brand of the Teddy Ruxpin totally did the same thing and I had what I wanted. I had real Dr. Martens and I had a real Sony CD player and I had a real princess room with real Barbie's on the top shelf (yes I displayed Barbie's instead of play with them!).
But what we never lacked was real love. Even though I wanted the invitation to the party where I really would rather be was at home on a Friday night watching movies with my parents and eating my mom's homemade treats. My sister and I would often make a tent fort behind the recliner outside my bed room. Once we were too big for that tiny space, we would have slumber parties in her room because she had the double bed.
My parents created an environment of love. And, one thing my parents did was pray. I remember family devotional nights in my parents bed where my dad would read scripture and then we would all have our turn to pray. I remember the time I found, probably snooping in something I shouldn't have, the letter my dad wrote to me the day I came home from the hospital. In that letter, he told the story of he and my mom stopping in the hospital parking lot before they even put me in the car and dedicating me to the Lord. I remember sitting in my parents bedroom when my sister became a Christian. I remember the prayers in our driveway or living room before the first day of school, especially in middle school and high school when I needed them more than I knew. I remember standing between our beds with my freshman college roommate's family and praying for the year ahead of us (yea, not a dry eye in the room). I remember the weekend my parents were up while I was taking chemo treatments and waking up in the middle of the night hearing my dad at the foot of my bed praying. I remember the Thursday afternoon, last January when I called him and asked him to "tell me I could do this". Of course he did, but we ended the call in silence after he prayed for courage, discernment and strength.
Parents who pray for you are a gift. But, parents who let you know they are praying for you are a blessing.
I am blessed.